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Jamel Artis sets career highs with Orlando Magic

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The former Pitt standout put up 16 points against the New York Knicks

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former Pitt guard Jamel Artis has spent the majority of this season with the Lakeland Magic of the NBA G League, but he earned a call-up to the NBA in late March and has been taking advantage of the opportunity. On Tuesday, he showed the Orlando Magic staff what he could do at the highest level of the game, posting a career-high 16 points and six rebounds off the bench.

His point total ranked second on the team behind starting forward Mario Hezonja, who put up 19, and his contributions helped the Magic notch a 97-73 road win against the New York Knicks. He also made six of his 10 shots from the field, including three of his six three-pointers, catching the eye of Magic head coach Frank Vogel, who commented on Artis after the game.

“What intrigues me about him is his playmaking ability,” Vogel told ESPN. “He handles it like a point guard, can really make plays with the passes and then he can knock down the open shot like he did tonight. He got hot out there, but his floor game was what was most impressive.”

Artis has shown steady improvement since joining the Magic for a second stint on March 22. After putting up four points over 42 minutes in his first three games back, he found another gear on March 30, scoring eight points and grabbing four rebounds before his career night.

For comparison, his first NBA call-up came in December and was highlighted by a four-point, three-rebound outing on Dec. 20.

The Pitt product has appeared in 45 G League games this season, averaging an outstanding 19.5 points and 5.8 rebounds over 37.6 minutes per game. This was the first time he was given more than 30 minutes to demonstrate what he could do at the NBA level, and the results had to be encouraging for the Magic, who signed Artis to a two-way contract back in October 2017.

With Tuesday night’s victory, the struggling Magic are now 23-54 overall and 8-31 in away games. They return home Wednesday to take on the Dallas Mavericks at 7 p.m. ET.